Monday, January 11, 2010

luck, chance or inevitability?

Will repairs completed, we're counting down the time to start our first job post-repair. We've had 5 1/2 days to effect repairs, repaint, and restock. So, now that we're painted up, welded up, stored up and grubbed up, it's just a matter of playing the waiting game until they're ready for us at the tank farm conveniently located next door from our lay berth.
In the meanwhile, something happened elsewhere that was a touch eerie at first blush. When we were involved in the accident last week, we were en route to a loading port to pick up a load of cargo that had been originally slated to be given to a black-oil barge. They bitched about their workload, and even though we don't normally do straight run black oil jobs (my barge is outfitted with segregated tanks, pumps and headers- we specialize in fueling ships that require multiple grades of fuel), someone shoehorned a job into our schedule, and then we got knocked out of service for damn near a week, and the original barge slated to do the job had to do the job anyways...
Now, the job that we lost to a competitor was supposed to be done right after we finished the ill-fated substitute job. As it happened, we didn't have the equipment to do the job, and thus another company got the contract. The lost job was carried out under our noses, literally; the ship was bunkered up 150 yards away from our repair berth.

Now, Will tells us that something happened over the weekend to that same ship. Judging by what Will says and what's on the photo here I would guess that a tank bulkhead or two failed, as the ship's got a list like a drunk on a barstool.

Now, my first reaction was that everything around the events of last week was cursed. But I've had time to think, and I think now that the answer was under my nose, too.
When I got a good look at that ship, (a chemical carrier, which is a complex tanker), I saw that her name was hand-painted on the bow. This is not a good sign- to me, it implies that she was both sold and purchased on the fly and/or on a budget, which implies a rapid sale and, since she is foreign-flagged (registered), probably a ramrod job with the pedigree paperwork. The odds of Something Bad happening to a ship subjected to such a degree of care are obviously increased, and considering that she's a chemical carrier, enhanced, as such ships are subjected to an increased variety of stresses, not the least of which is that she's got a normal-sized crew, yet an enormous amount of complex steelwork which must be maintained.
Ah well. New week, new jobs. We're going to take on very close to a draft load today- the largest I've ever done on this thing, and we'll be bunkering a very interesting ship... more on that later.


will said...

just good fortune that the accident didn't have worse consequences. any idea where the repair is being made?

Paul, Dammit! said...

I couldn't say about the repairs- depends on the extent of damage and where the next cargo could be. Best bet is a foreign yard if they can get class permission to do temporary repairs here at a lay berth.